I dont mean the bought, commercially produced, white card (pretending to be pastry), unidentifiable mushy filling type of pasty either!
I mean a real, handmade pasty, wonky edges and all. Perfect for picnics with a dollop of homemade chutney (children seem to like tomato ketchup). When I make them I always bake up a huge pile of about 40. It saves me so much time in the long run, BUT does encourage gluttony!
If you have your own favourite recipe you would like to share then please post it in the comment box below!
I must warn you though, these ingredients are approximate, I nearly always have too much mixture and end up having to make more pastry at the last minute.
Ingredients for approx 8 pasties to die for.....
- I lb of plain flour (I use 50/50 wholemeal and white).
- 4 oz Solid vegetable oil or lard (I use crisp and dry, solid block oil as its non hydrogenated).
- 4 oz Butter or Block Stork margarine.
- Good pinch of salt.
- A small teacup of very cold water.
- 3 potatoes, peeled.
- 2 large onions.
- 8 ozs Strong cheddar cheese.
- Pinch of salt and a bigger pinch of white pepper!
- I small egg (free range of course) beaten.
First of all make your pastry. The usual way, by putting the flour and salt into a big bowl, then rubbing in the fats till its all crumbly, finally adding enough of the water to make a good bind. Pop it back in the bowl and make the filling next.
GADGETS***** If you have a food processor (I do but when it breaks I am not replacing it.... gadgets, chain round neck... etc) use it now with the grater disc and grate the potatoes, onions and cheese. If you dont have one then slice the potatoes and onions (grate the onions if you want a really intense flavour) very thinly with a knife and grate the cheese manually. Its debatable how long the processor saves by the time youve washed the dratted cutters and hard to reach bits. Also cutting by hand gives a better texture to the pasties. Add the salt, pepper and egg, giving it all a good stir.
Back to the pastry, divide it into quarters and then dive each quarter in half! You have 8 pieces ready to roll. All you need is a rolling pin and a flat surface. You DO NOT need a plastic fold in half pastry press, or a cutting guide for perfectly uniform pasties, just a rolling pin and a pair of eyes! Roll each peice into a sort of long oval on a floured surface. Moisten the front half edge with a brush of milk. Pop a dollop of the mixture onto this bottom edge keeping the edge clear. Fold the top half down over the mixture. You will have about 1" of damp bottom edge showing, use your nimble fingers to bring this up onto the top half. See pictures for this to make sense.
Cut a hole in the top to let steam escape, pop it onto a greased baking tray, usually 4 to a tray. Brush with milk to glaze.
Then into a hot 190 degree centigrade oven for approx 45 minutes. You know they will be cooked when a knife poked into one slides in easily and they are golden and begging to come out of the oven onto your cooling rack!!
Why is making pasties a green option?
- Thrift! If a 'designer' pasty from a delicatesant cost £2.00 each, when you make a batch of 8 you have saved £16 minus a couple of pounds for your ingredients! My 40 pasty batches would sell at £80!!!! Knowing I have 'virtually' saved all that cost feels good!
- You know just what ingredients go into them , especially the salt content.
- You can use organic ingredients.
- No packaging! Look at how many pasties are sold individually wrapped in plastic... shocking.
- Pop a load in the freezer and you have perfect emergency meals. I cook mine from frozen and serve with salad.
- If you cook a big batch you will besaving energy by utilising that hot oven. Most ovens have at 3 trays, or 2 trays and a floor! Thats 12 pasties that can be cooked together.
- During the war years, pasties were big news! They called them 'rollovers' back then and housewives were encouraged to chop up left overs and recycle them into pasties! It makes sense!
- Chopped cold leftover pork mixed with sliced apples makes a fantastic filling too.